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Woman Questions Health Insurance Cancellation Notice


With less than a week left to sign up on the state’s health insurance exchange, there are still bumps in the road, as one Farmington woman found out when she received a letter Saturday saying her coverage would be canceled.

Karla Dalley was paying for a plan on Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield before the state’s health care exchange was rolled out and decided to look for a better deal through the exchange last year. She found a new Anthem plan she liked and signed up.

Dalley said she paid the first bill when it arrived in December and has continued to pay her bills on time. However, over the weekend she got a letter from Anthem stating the insurance company had not received her first month’s premium payment.

“Therefore, your application for coverage is cancelled,” the letter said.

“I initially looked at the letter and laughed, and I showed it to my husband said, ‘Huh, look at this. Aren’t they confused?’” Dalley said.

Anthem officials said they have recently started sending letters to customers who have enrolled but haven’t paid their premiums. The company confirms that Dalley is still enrolled with Anthem and said it’s possible she signed up for two separate policies.

Dalley saved her bills and checks and sent all the paperwork to Anthem to clear up the issue.

“I’m sure this is a technical glitch and shouldn’t be a problem, but this is really not making me happy,” Dalley said.

Anthem encourages anyone who has a question or issue to call the customer service line.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Treated for Hypothermia After Falling Through Ice


A Naugatuck man is recovering from hypothermia after falling through the ice in Oxford this afternoon.

State police said 58-year-old Kenneth Wakeley fell into the water at the Naugatuck State Forest Reservoir off Old Litchfield Turnpike just before 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Officers arrived to find him clutching an ice fishing supply sled 50 feet from shore. He was submerged for 10 minutes before police were able to pull him out with a rope, police said.

Police said Wakeley had gone to the reservoir with his 12-year-old son.

He was treated at the scene for severe hypothermia.

Dying Monk's Wish Granted


A 76-year-old monk dying of cancer can now be buried at his beloved monastery, thanks to a bill OK'd by California's governor, who studied to be a priest himself.

Gov. Jerry Brown, who was a Jesuit seminary student in the 1950s, signed a bill on Tuesday allowing Archimandrite Theodor Micka to be buried on the grounds of Holy Cross Monastery in Castro Valley.

The bill, which was authored by California Sen. Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-Hayward), allowed an exemption to the current law regarding burial sites. As the law is written, it's a misdemeanor to bury someone in a place other than a designated cemetery without the proper state and county permits. 

In what's known as a "gut-and-amend bill," Corbett wrote the bill to allow Alameda County to expedite the permittng process.

"He had a very compelling story," Corbett said in a phone interview on Tuesday from Sacramento. "We wanted to fulfill his dying wish."

Micka's wish is to be buried on the monastery grounds where he has lived for three decades. The monastery is the only Orthodox one of its kind in the San Francisco Bay Area, and there, monks perform weddings, baptisms and services for Orthodox Christians of all ethnic backgrounds.

Micka is the abbot, or the head monk.

"[Corbett] called us today," Holy Cross Monastery Father Stephen Scott, who is Micka's caregiver, told NBC Bay Area. "We were very impressed. Father Theodor has been the abbot here for basically 50 years. He wanted to be buried here."

When Micka was diagnosed with stage IV cancer last April, Scott said that he discussed his friend's burial issue with members of the Stanford Religious Liberty Clinic, who were already helping the monastery with other legal matters. Students Greg Schweizer and Caitlin Bradley helped draft a narrowly crafted bill, CA SB 124, to allow Micka to be buried on the 9-acre rural grounds of his home. Micka's cancer has spread to his lymph nodes, Scott said, though all his friends and supporters are hoping that "he will rally."

The grounds of Holy Cross Monastery in Castro Valley, Calif. (Photo: Father Stephen Scott)

Micka has been "courageous" in the face of his diagnosis, said Scott, the monastery's co-founder. The two have been friends since 1970, when Micka was a parish priest in Los Altos Hills.

When Micka's mother died, she left her son all that she owned. He decided to use her inheritance to buy the 9-acre monastery, helping to build its walls and plant its gardens. Nature is Micka's passion.

"He made a vow to build a monastery," Scott said. "He creates beauty and order out of chaos. We have no fences so that deer can come onto our lawn. We are surrounded by green and parkland. Father Theodor loves the idea of finding God through the beauty of the place."


Photo Credit: Father Stephen Scott

Minivan Follows, Confronts Students in Norwalk: Cops


Norwalk police are asking students walking to and from school to be extra aware of their surroundings after two students reported being followed or approached by strangers.

Nathan Hale Middle School Principal Joseph Rodriguez told police that a female student was approached by the driver of a dark-colored minivan while walking home from school March 14.

The student told police that she was walking alone on Strawberry Hill Avenue when the van pulled over to the side of the road. The driver rolled down the passenger side window and called for her to come over. When she ignored him, the minivan drove off, police said.

The student described the driver as a black male in his 30s, clean shaven with short black hair. He was wearing a black shirt, according to police.

The second incident occurred Tuesday, March 25. A female student at Nathan Hale told police she might have been followed by a dark blue minivan while walking to school alone on Walter Avenue.

She said the minivan was driving slowly before turning down a side street. The driver did not stop or speak to the student, police said.

Norwalk Public Schools have emailed parents, advising them of the incidents and asking them to speak to their children about being extra careful and aware of their surroundings.

Students are urged to call 911 immediately if they are approached or feel threatening while traveling to or from school.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Norwalk Police Department at 203-854-3111. All calls can be kept anonymous.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Sandy Hook Architects Show Designs


Students and parents in Newtown, Conn. are getting an idea of what a new Sandy Hook Elementary School could look like.

The old Sandy Hook School was torn down after the December 2012 shootings that took the lives of 20 first-graders and six educators.

A new school will be built on the same property. More than 200 members of the community came together to share their vision for the new facility. 

New Haven-based architects Svigals + Partners, the firm that is designing the school, presented those designs for the first time to the entire Public Building and Site Commission on Tuesday night.

The architects incorporated nature into the design.

"Having more access to nature on an everyday basis improves the life in the school, it improves the learning environment and it improves us as people," Jay Brotman, of Svigals + Partners, said.

"So far so good ... as far as architecturally, making it a more open school and incorporating nature into the school," said Steve Uhde, a local parent.

He attended attended Sandy Hook Elementary, as did his son.

Barry Svigals, of Svigals + Partners, said the site has been designed "so that the school that we create really could not be any place else and it's resonant with what their aspirations are for the school and what the history of the town has been."

The renderings show a school designed with a Main Street theme, including open-air learning and stone walls to create a sense of safety.

"They really know what Sandy Hook is," Robert Mitchell, chairman of the public building commission, said. "Now it's Newtown, but Sandy Hook is a very special part, and they're really incorporating what we are."

Overall, the commission member said they are pleased.

"We're very much in a natural setting. It's very unusual to have this kind of opportunity. We're surrounded by wetlands and hills and trees," Mitchell said.

The new design takes advantage of those resources but still provides a safe place to go.

"When the children walk into the school, they should go 'Wow what a great place to learn," Mitchell said. "It's an educational experience what we're creating here and we want to enhance that experience."

The architects are still-fine tuning the design and hope the school can open by 2016.

They said the site where the shootings happened are not being touched. It's unclear what will go there now.

Photo Credit: Svigals + Partners

Navy Officer Found Dead in Mudslide


A U.S. Navy commander, who spent years in San Diego, has been found dead in the aftermath of a devastating mudflow in Washington state, his father confirmed to NBC 7.

Cmdr. Leon “John” Regelbrugge III had been in the Navy for 32 years. He spent about eight years stationed at Naval Air Station North Island, according to his father, John Regelbrugge Sr.

“He was a commander and would have made captain shortly, too,” Regelbrugge Sr. said.

His father said that on Saturday morning, Regelbrugge and his wife were supposed to leave the house, but slept in instead.

As they slept, mud covered one square mile around the towns of Oso and Darrington, about 55 miles from Seattle.

“If that mudslide had been a half-mile the other way, there would be no homes to wipe out,” Regelbrugge Sr. said.

Regelbrugge Sr. said his son and daughter-in-law had five children. He said his grandson who lives at home was at work that morning, narrowly missing the mudflow.

The victim’s brothers and sons joined the search efforts in Oso. His father said they discovered the bodies of Regelbrugge, his wife and the family dog Tuesday morning.

On Tuesday night, officials reported the death toll had risen to 16. Eight more bodies were believed to have been found, but hadn’t been recovered, according to Snohomish County District Fire Chief Travis Holt. They did not find any survivors.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Student Dies After Beating


An 18-year-old high school student died after he was beaten in front of his house Sunday night.

Troy Causey, a player on the basketball team at Wilmer-Hutchins High School in South Dallas, died Monday after he was severely beaten outside his home the night before.

Grief counselors were at Wilmer-Hutchins High School Tuesday morning to talk to students.

"Great guy. Great student. Great student-athlete. The tallest kid in the building with the biggest smile," said Principal Marlon Brooks.

Dallas police are re-interviewing witnesses who reported seeing Causey get into an argument with two people.

If anyone has information about his death, please contact police.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Train Derailment Video Surfaces


A video posted to YouTube appears to show footage of Monday's Blue Line train derailment at O'Hare International Airport.

The video, which was deleted just hours after being posted Tuesday night and was re-posted Wednesday morning, shows a train coming into the Chicago station and crashing into escalators.

Wednesday's video was posted by user SuccessHab on YouTube. While the footage is the same, it is not clear if it was posted by the same user or where the footage came from.

The CTA could not be reached for comment about the video.

Thirty-two people were injured, none seriously, when an eight-car train continued through the end of the platform and struck the escalators leading to the terminals at O'Hare International Airport early Monday morning.

"The train actually climbed over the last stop, jumped up on the sidewalk and then went up the stairs and escalators," Chicago Fire Department Commissioner Jose Santiago said of the crash, which happened just before 3 a.m. on the CTA's Blue Line.

Lawsuits were filed Tuesday, one of which claims the Chicago Transit Authority was negligent and blames "a reported combination of operator inattention and excessive speed" for the crash.

Niakesha Thomas, 22, claims her "job requires her to stand continuously and her injuries have left her currently unable to walk."

"I can't use bathroom by myself, I can't take a bath," Thomas told NBC 5.

Thomas says she was sitting in the third car of the train when the accident occurred.

"I heard a big noise, I felt my chest hit the seat in front of me, and then my back hit the seat behind me and then the lights went out," Thomas said. "I got up, I walked out and I hollered, I got scared, I started shaking, I was a nervous wreck."

A National Transportation Safety Board spokesman said Tuesday an emergency stop system activated as it should have but failed to stop the train.

Twenty-three-year-old Dalila Jefferson, a security officer at O'Hare, also filed a lawsuit Tuesday. She was riding in the first car when the train jumped the tracks and landed on the stairs and escalators leading to the airport terminals.

“It’s clear there was a failure on multiple levels. We hope this lawsuit helps bring answers as to how this could happen and to prevent it from happening again,” Jefferson's attorney Matthew Jenkins said. “Millions of people ride the CTA to and from work and they deserve to feel safe."

CTA union president Robert Kelly told reporters Monday afternoon that the operator of the train may have dozed off.

"The indication is there, yes," Kelly said. "She has worked a lot of hours in the past weekend, and the indication is there."

The operator was interviewed by the NTSB Tuesday for about two hours.

Man Sexually Assaulted, Choked & Threatened Girlfriend: Police


Middletown police arrested a local man who is accused of threatening to kill, choking and sexually assaulting his girlfriend, who had recently moved to Connecticut to be with him.

Police arrested Joseph Bennett, a 21-year-old homeless man, after receiving a 911 hang-up call from the Saint Vincent DePaul soup kitchen at 8:34 a.m. on Tuesday.

Police went to the soup kitchen and met with the victim, who reported that Bennett had assaulted her and threatened to kill her.

Several days earlier, she learned that Bennett was cheating on her and had told him not to touch her, she told police.

On Sunday, he sexually assaulted her and choked her with strings of a hoodie she was wearing when she tried to get him to stop, police said. Then, he started to choke her with a necklace.

The victim told police that she was initially too afraid to call authorities, but confided in friends, who confronted Bennett that night.

He became angry and tried to choke her again, then punched her in the eye, according to the arraignment report.

The woman told police that Bennett had also sharpened a knife and threatened to stab the woman and her friends.

At 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Bennett walked to the soup kitchen for breakfast and the woman took the opportunity to call police.

Authorities found Bennett on Newfield Street, arrested him and took him to police headquarters.

He was charged with threatening, second-degree strangulation, fourth-degree sexual assault, third-degree assault and breach of peace.

Bennett was held on $75,000 bond.

Photo Credit: Middletown Police

Man Reported Missing Was at Casino


A 90-year-old man reported missing from a Meriden nursing home on Tuesday night has been found. He was at a Connecticut casino, according to police.

Staff of the Bradley Home at 320 Colony Street in Meriden called police at 4 p.m. to report that a resident, William Radston, had been missing since 1:30 p.m.

They said he was in good health, has a car and is allowed to leave whenever he likes.

At 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Mohegan Sun Police Department called Meriden police to say Radston was there, in good health and did not need of any assistance.

Photo Credit: Meriden Police

Baby Salmon Get Truck Convoy Assist


The tanker trucks arrive in a convoy of three at the banks of the Sacramento Delta, near the small river town of Rio Vista. The vehicles then back up to the river’s edge, ready to spew their contents into one of California’s most vital waterways.

A long white plastic tube is already tethered to the dock, waiting to link-up with the truck. The tube turns dark as the truck’s contents spill through it into the river. Suddenly the water churns as the delivery comes to life -- thousands of tiny, darting salmon smolt begin their journey to the ocean.

With California in the grip of a vicious drought, state and federal fishery managers have begun to truck infant salmon to the Delta, bypassing 275 miles of their normal migration from the Coleman federal fish hatchery in Redding.

“We’re trying to give them a jump start to get them past problem areas upstream,” said Stafford Lehr with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The drought has left water levels in the state’s tributaries low and warm, which stresses the tiny salmon. The lack of rain is also forcing state water managers to prematurely open some gates in the Delta, which would divert the migrating fish into other parts of the Delta. That left fishery managers with few alternatives.

“If these fish migrated normally down through the river system, there’s a strong likelihood a lot of them would be drawn into the interior and south Delta," Lehr said. “We know that their chances of survival out to the ocean and adulthood are highly limited.”

Fishery managers expect to haul 30 million hatchery fish to the river over the next 10 weeks, equaling another 240 truckloads.

“If we were to release them at Coleman and they were all to perish on the trip,” said Bob Clark of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “we could be forced with no commercial or recreational fish in 2016.”

The potential collapse of the state's salmon fishing is a major concern for an industry still reeling from the closure of the 2008 salmon season, following low fish returns. The closure cost hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars to the state.

“This will affect 2016, 2017 which may have been a closed season,” said Victor Gonella, of the Golden Gate Salmon Association, who applaud the use of trucks to haul the fish down river. “There may not have been any fish.”

But scientists warn trucking the fish down river will make it nearly impossible for adult fish to find their way back to the place of their birth in a few years.

“The science bears out, when you truck fish you have higher straying rates,” said Howard Brown of N.O.A.A. “After the fish go out to the ocean and they return back to spawn, they’re a little lost. They don’t know exactly where to go back.”

But Brown said the drought has left state officials with no other alternative, other than to truck.

Clark said fishery managers are researching alternative methods of moving the salmon safely down river, including using nets on barges to haul them the entire length of their river migration, allowing them to mentally map their route – a process known as imprinting.

But with the drought bearing down, and alternatives years away, the tanker trucks continue to file into Rio Vista – offering a shortcut for thousands of needy travelers.

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.

7-Year-Old Files Traffic Complaint


When 7-year-old Isaiah McLoughlin wanted cars and trucks on his Waterford street to stop speeding, he decided to take action.

Isaiah grabbed a pen, wrote a letter to his local police department and he is getting results.

“When I went for my bus cars and trucks are speeding. It makes feel unsafe,” Isaiah wrote.

Then he asked police to call his grandmother to discuss the situation.

So police did. They arranged a meeting around the busy 7-year-old’s schedule, took the complaint and arranged for speed patrols, starting today. 

Here is what Waterford Police posted on their Facebook page:

”Traffic complaint from a 7 year old!

“Waterford Police got a letter from 7 year old Isaiah McLoughlin, saying that people were speeding in his road while he waited for the bus. He said he was available after 4 PM (busy social calendar!)

“Officer VanOverloop, working on patrol yesterday evening, went to the house, took Isaiah's complaint, and arranged for officers to conduct speed patrols on his road starting today.

“We thought it was pretty great that this young kid would write his local police, and wanted to share it with you.”

The letter is generating positive response for police and Isaiah.

71-Year-Old New Haven Man Has Been Missing for 4 Weeks


Police have issued a Silver Alert for a 71-year-old New Haven  man who has been missing since the end of February.

Gonzalee Henderson was reported missing on March 14, according to a Silver Alert issued today, but he was actually last seen on Feb. 28.  

Police do not know what Henderson was wearing on that day.

Henderson has gray hair and brown eyes.  He is 5-feet-6 and weighs around 140 pounds.

Anyone with information on Henderson’s whereabouts is asked to call New Haven police at 203-946-6316.

Photo Credit: Silver Alert

House Minority Leader Cafero Announces Retirement


House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero Jr. (R-Norwalk) has decided not to seek re-election in the fall and announced today that he  retire at the end of the term.

Cafero made the announcement on the floor or the House on Wednesday afternoon and said the state Legislature has made him a better person.

There was a bipartisan show of support and he received a standing ovation. 

NORWALK, CT – Today issued the following statement in response to news that his fellow Norwalk legislator, Lawrence F. Cafero, Jr., does not plan to seek re-election this fall.

"It is with a great deal of sadness that I heard Larry Cafero won't seek re-election this fall. Larry is my friend and someone who I'm going to miss,” State Senator Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) said in a statement. “We maybe from different political parties, but that never stopped us from coming together on issues that were right for our state and important to Norwalk. He is someone who I respect and so do Norwalk's voters, who've returned him to office many times.”

Gov. Dannel Malloy and Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman also released statements about Cafero’s decision.

“During his 22 years serving in the House of Representatives, Larry Cafero has consistently been one of the most passionate and energetic voices at the State Capitol,” Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, said. “He has fought hard for his constituents year in and year out, and he’s done it with character and good humor.  I’m proud to have worked with him across the aisle on critical issues like job growth, improving Connecticut schools, and making our state a safer place to work and live.  Aside from being a colleague, he’s become a friend, and I wish him, his wife Barbara, and their children the very best.”

Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman called Cafero is an “institution” in the General Assembly. 

“His leadership, quick wit, and good heart will be greatly missed.  I was a State Representative when he was elected — from day one he has vigorously represented his district and been a strong advocate for his constituents.  For more than two decades, Representative Cafero has been generous of his time and expertise in encouraging Connecticut to be a better, stronger state,” Wyman said in a statement.

Part of Route 7 in New Milford Closed Due to Fire


Route 7 is closed for almost a mile between Still River Drive and Dodd Road in New Milford because of a brush fire.

Officials said fire stared as a small shed fire and spread quickly because of wind.

It is burning behind Windmill Diner.

Mutual aid has been brought in from several communities, including Brookfield, Gaylordsville and Washington. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Teens Robbed in Bridgeport


Police are investigating after two teenage girls reported being robbed at gunpoint on Iranistan Avenue on Tuesday.

Police responded to Gregory Street at 9:15 p.m. and spoke with a 17-year-old girl who said she was walking home with her 16-year-old friend when two men they did not know confronted them.

One of the men had a handgun, police said, and an iPhone was taken.

Police later spoke to the other teen who related a similar story.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Exposed and Fondled Self in University of Bridgeport Library: Police


Bridgeport police have arrested a local man who is accused of exposing himself to women in the library on the University of Bridgeport campus and fondling himself.

On Tuesday afternoon, police went to campus and spoke with university security, who said there had been several incidents in the library in which a man had exposed and touched himself in front of females.

On Tuesday, a female security officer dressed in plain clothes was stationed in the library and saw Jeremy Lee Wilson, 24, of Bridgeport, in one of the book aisles.

He started rubbing his crotch area through his pants, followed the security officer as she walked away and continued to rub himself, police said.

When the officer radioed for other officers, Wilson fled from campus.

Security officers followed him and were able to get the license plate number of Wilson’s Dodge Caravan, police said.

Detective Robert Winkler went to the house to that the minivan was registered to and the van was in the driveway, with the hood was still warm, police said.

Winkler detained Wilson and employees from the university confirmed he was the person touching himself in the library, police said.
Wilson acknowledged to police that he had previously done this at the university, according to police.

He was charged with second-degree criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and public indecency.

Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police

Fire at Berlin Recycling Plant


Christian Lane in Berlin is closed as emergency crews battle a fire.

Flames broke out at Automated Material Handling at 655 Christian Lane Wednesday afternoon.

The fire was brought under control, but Christian Lane was expected to be closed for some time as firefighters doused hot spots, according to fire officials.

No one was injured.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Step Up Patrols after Incidents Near Harding High School


Bridgeport Police have increased patrols in the area of Harding High School after three suspicious incidents in the last week involving young women who have been approached.

Police said no injuries have been reported.

On Tuesday, someone who was passing by told police a male tried to pull a female into a cemetery. He was unsuccessful, according to police. 

Police could not find the victim, but a student at Harding High School came forward and  reported that a similar incident happened to her on Tuesday.

The first incident was reported last Thursday. A Harding student told police that a man approached her and improperly touched her as she was walking to school.

The detective bureau is working on the case, police have increased patrols in the area and students are being urged to use safe corridors while walking to school.

“We want to err on the side of caution so we are asking students to be extra vigilant while this is being investigated,” Police Lt. Paul Grech said in a statement. “Be aware of your surroundings and walk along the safe corridors en route to and home from schools.”

Students are being sent home with letters to alert parents or guardians about the incidents.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Hazmat Crews Respond to Sacred Heart University


A hazmat team responded to Sacred Heart University in Fairfield after the release of fumes during an experiment in the school's science wing.

The situation involved about a gallon of sulfuric and nitric acid, according to preliminary information from officials.

It is contained to one room.

The first and second floors of the science wing were evacuated, as emergency crews tested the area, according to the university.

No one was injured.


Photo Credit: Fairfield Fire Dept.
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